7 Aug 2009

Junior doctors back report's findings

9:54 am on 7 August 2009

The union representing junior doctors says it largely agrees with a report that calls for radical change in their training and employment.

The Resident Medical Officer Commission was set up by the previous government to investigate problems faced by the junior doctors.

It says the doctors don't feel valued and a single national body should be responsible for their employment instead of 21 different district health boards.

The report calls for urgent changes to the apprenticeship model and makes recommendations on how to achieve that.

Deborah Powell from the Resident Doctors Association says the report recognises a number of problems they have been trying to have addressed. However, she says she's not sure whether setting up a single administrative body would be a better system.

Dr Powell says the association has asked for an urgent meeting with the DHBs discuss the report. She hopes it will see an end to the bitter employment disputes the resident doctors have had in the past.

The Minister of Health, Tony Ryall, says he agrees with the report's findings, but the suggestion of a single national employer is a controversial one and would require a law change.

Peter Glensor, a spokesperson for the country's 21 district health boards, says there will now be discussions with doctors on how to put back in place an apprenticeship model of vocational training that will suit them and produce better doctors.

Mr Glensor says DHBs will also look closely at the recommendation of a single national employer for junior doctors while they are training.